Montgomery teacher celebrates 30 years in the classroom, overcoming car accident injuries

The road to recovery was a long one and she said her students kept her going.
Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 1:48 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Lori Riggles is celebrating two major milestones at Montgomery Catholic’s Holy Spirit campus. The 5th-grade teacher has been in the classroom for 30 years now and the seven-year anniversary of a life-changing accident.

“I love teaching, I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was six years old,” Riggles said, “I love teaching here. This is such a special place and a special community.”

But, in April 2016, her dreams of teaching were almost shattered. An avid runner, Lori Riggles was involved in a life-altering accident not far from her home in Ramer.

“I was training for the New York City marathon and I was hit by a truck, it went off the road,” Riggles said.

Riggles was airlifted to the Intensive Care Unit at Baptist Medical Center South. She was on a ventilator, sedated and had several surgeries. She also suffered multiple fractures to her pelvis, vertebrae and wrist and had extensive damage to her arm. Along with that, she had a massive head wound.

The road to recovery was a long one and she said her students kept her going.

“The work ethic and perseverance that I see in the students was helpful for me too when I was going through what I was going through,” Riggles said.

Now, years later, she’s recovered, running again, and celebrating three decades in the classroom. Riggles teaches English, literature, writing, and social studies and has no plans of slowing down.

“I love to run, I love to compete in races, and I love my kids,” Riggles said, “I’m so honored and touched to get the Class Act award. I love these students and our Catholic schools and this community.”

Riggles is currently training to run in the New York City marathon in November.

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